Premier Steven Marshall, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and Police Commissioner Grant Stevens addressed the South Australian public today on what marks the states third official day of lockdown.
Ahead of a weekend where South Aussies will be ordered to stay in their homes, except for a small number of reasons, the number of COVID cases in the state has risen to 15, with just one new case to report today.
This was another individual who had attended the Tenafeate Creek Winery on Sunday 18 July and had been in quarantine since the area was declared a high risk exposure site, meaning encouragingly, that they have not been out in the community.
Professor Nicola Spurrier confirmed that one new locally acquired case was identified as a man in his 60s, whose first test initially came back as negative. The gentleman and his wife have both been transferred to medi-hotels in Adelaide, bringing the number of cases from Tenafeate Creek Winery to eight in total, after a brother and sister were identified as testing positive yesterday.
There is only one person left of the 125 people who were at the high risk site winery at this time who is yet to be tracked down by SA Health.
Regarding the second high exposure site at the Greek on Halifax, Spurrier was pleased to announce everyone at the restaurant on Saturday 17 July has now been contacted and spoken to by SA Health.
Currently all of the cases from these two exposure sites are at the Tomm’s Court medi-hotel apart from the 81 year old gentleman who travelled back to Australia from Argentina, who remains in hospital but in a stable condition.
Spurrier clarified the double-ring security method of quarantine currently employed across South Australia, where those who visited an exposure site AND their primary contacts are asked to quarantine, until the individual who was at an exposure site tests negative, to ensure a rigid procedure that will stop the Delta strain getting into the community.
Steven Marshall spoke of his pride at being a South Australian and the state’s compliance with lockdown order when looking at the large number of in-community transmissions of the Delta strain announced this morning in NSW.
An all time record of 23,572 COVID results were returned yesterday, with waiting time for results still just around the 12 hour mark, which Marshall noted as ‘extraordinary’ considering the huge surge in demand for tests. This comes as around 4,000 individuals are quarantining across the state, due to visiting one of the growing numbers of exposure sites in South Australia.
Seppeltsfield Winery and the TAFE SA Regency Park campus have now been added to this list of exposure sites within the state, bringing the total to 79 sites, all listed on the SA Health websites.
40 Australian Defence Force staff have now been deployed in Adelaide to help with the opening of a brand new testing site at Netball SA’s headquarters in Mile End, which Stevens is positive will assist in decreasing the huge waiting times for South Australians looking to get a COVID test. The stadium’s strong infrastructure has been chosen as an ideal site for the influx of severe weather hitting Adelaide over the weekend.
A further testing clinic will also be set up at the Warradale Army Barracks, details of which will be provided in the coming days.
Marshall urged that although the low numbers overnight are encouraging, South Australia is only on day three of the lockdown and if we were to complete the seven day lockdown this would not mean a complete reduction in restrictions on movement.
The Premier reminded that we might see a spike in the number of cases over the next few days, as people in quarantine are required to get tested on days one, five and thirteen.
Expressing his deep gratitude for those working at testing sites as well as the South Australians lining up to get tested, Marshall was pleased to confirm that the demand and supply for testing was back in balance, after South Aussies had seen staggering weight times in their cars of up to 14 hours. The Premier did feel for those frustrated after long wait times and apologised for this, but urged people not to take this out on the testing staff working at these sites.
Marshall also announced a booking time system for COVID tests will be trialed across a number of testing sites to decrease these long wait times, where individuals looking to get tested can book a specific time slot to queue up for their test.
Whilst discussing the vaccines coming into the state, Marshall was firm that he would not be sharing any of South Australia’s vaccine doses with NSW, and hoped to erase any of the vaccine hesitancy that still lives within the state.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens discussed the rumour of individuals in their cars at testing sites being fined by police for using their phones. Stevens assured that if you are stationary in your car you are able to use your phone but said it was not surprising for people to receive a warning at best if they were using their phone whilst driving.
The Police Commissioner also spoke at his pride at South Australian’s level of compliance with the current directions, with very little movement seen across the metropolitan and suburban areas, all helping to restrict movement of the virus.
The department of transport are currently looking through how to action the recent direction that requires QR code check-ins on public transport, as well as in taxis and ride-shares, with the Police Commissioner acknowledging issues need to be worked out as to how this will work for individuals without mobile phones.
All South Australians who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested on the day symptoms appear.
– Fever or chills (in the absence of an alternative illness that explains these symptoms)
– An acute respiratory infection e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath
– Loss of smell or alteration in the sense of taste
– Diarrhoea and vomiting
For more information: SA COVID-19 Information Line 1800 253 787; sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019.